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Effect of resource limitation on host post-infection survival and systemic pathogenic growth

Citation

Prasad, N. G. et al. (2022), Effect of resource limitation on host post-infection survival and systemic pathogenic growth, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pvmcvdnp8

Abstract

In the experiments presented here, we explore the effect of resource limitation, in form of starvation (which leads to decrease in accessible resources and depletion of reserves) and sexual activity (which leads to reallocation of resources from somatic defence towards reproduction), on immune function of female Drosophila melanogaster flies. We infected females with five bacterial pathogens and measured their post-infection survival when subjected to either starvation or sexual activity (mating). Additionally, we measured within host pathogen levels in case of three of these pathogens. Based on previous literature, we predicted that both modes of resource limitation will increase post-infection mortality, but only sexual activity will lead to increase of pathogen load (because of compromised immune function), while starvation will either not affect or reduce pathogen loads (because of reduced availability of resources for the pathogen to proliferate within the host). Our results indicate that both starvation and sexual activity can lead to increased within-host pathogen levels, in addition to increased post-infection mortality, but in a pathogen-specific manner.

Funding

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali